The worst bias

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TEODORO CASINO of the leftwing party list group Bayan Muna is running for senator in 2013. In an attempt to publicize his candidacy, Casino, who’s currently Bayan Muna’s sitting nominee in the House of Representatives, jogged in the rain last October 3 to file his Certificate of Candidacy at the Commission on Elections office in Intramuros, Manila.

Casino had earlier been quoted as declaring that he would do anything to further his candidacy. At least one Manila broadsheet reported that, among other statements, he had said that “If (the voters) want me to sing and dance, I’ll sing and dance.”

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Essential and non-negotiable

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IN a meeting with representatives of some member organizations of the Right to Know Right Now coalition campaigning for a Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, Nueva Ecija Congressman Rodolfo Antonino refused to remove the Right of Reply (ROR) rider in a bill on FOI he has introduced in the 15th Congress.

His fellow representatives, said Antonino, want that rider in any FOI act that’s passed to guarantee that if the media were to report anything about them that puts them in a bad light, they would be able to present their side, or to correct an error in reporting. When told that fairness by presenting both sides of a controversy or issue, and in accusations of wrong doing, the alleged wrongdoer’s denial and explanation, is an ethical principle in journalism practice, Antonino flung at the journalists present the charge that media self-regulation doesn’t work, thus the need to compel media fairness through law.

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A problem like the Senate

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IT MUST have been the maroon robes—and the fact that the senators of the Republic, with one outrageous exception, were on their best behavior in the glare of TV lights during the impeachment trial of former Chief Justice Renato Corona early this year.

But the developing public impression of Senate gravitas, commitment to truth and justice, and good sense during that time—akin almost, though not quite, to the respect the Senate used to enjoy during the days of Claro M .Recto, Jose P.Laurel and Lorenzo Tanada—is fast giving way to collective disgust.

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Obscene

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NO, this isn’t about the self-serving attempt to deodorize martial law and the role of such individuals as Juan Ponce Enrile in it, in the worst case of historical revisionism since Gregorio Zaide claimed that Spanish conquest was the best thing that ever happened to these islands.

Two events occurred in the past week during which the political dynasties that have had a monopoly over political power in this country since 1946 went on an in-your-face display of how, despite the occasional shootings among them, they’re all in the business of running this country into the ground together. Both events showed that even if they do sometimes fight for power and its spoils, basically they’re all one family, whatever the difference in the names of their so-called “political parties,” which makes elections not about choice, but about keeping the same people and their relatives in government.

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